Monday, 28 May 2012

Make Interactive Mockups: Presenting the True Experience

sometimes a web designer simply needs to make interactive mockups . With an interactive mockup, the client can understand exactly how the final project is shaping up and how it will look when it’s done. If the client has a better grasp of the project, they can approve it faster, and the project gets to save money in development.

make interactive mockups
Since the beginning of web design, website prototypes have almost literally been wireframes; dull black and white concept drawings that are off-putting for customers who don’t quite grasp the difference between a trial product and the finished version. 

This new prototyping tool avoids this problem and allows a designer to make interactive mockups. Interactive isn’t just a buzzword – these interactive prototypes are as functional as the finished product should be. This allows the client and anyone else involved in the project to play around with the site or app, experiencing it as it will appear live. 

When you can make interactive mockups, the skies are no longer the limit. Teams can share the project across everyone involved, posting comments or directives on the spot. There’s no tedious sharing and syncing – it’s all one project. The project leader can set security levels to wall off parts of the project if necessary.

Where these wireframes excel is in navigation flow. It’s as simple as setting up hotspots in the wireframe with a link to the target frame, with just a couple of clicks. Changing these hotspots takes seconds. Web designers can mock up the site’s full interactivity with only a few hours of work, rather than days of tedious coding. At any stage in the process, the project is accessible with any mobile device and tested on the fly.

All of these features are available in one prototyping tool that follows the SaaS model, or Software as a Service. The tool can be rented for around $25 a month, with which it can support up to five projects with online help and security. Not convinced? The free trial is an excellent way to try before you commit.

Interactive Wireframes: Put Life into your Prototypes

Interactive wireframes have caused a refreshing change in web design. No longer are you stuck with Photoshop mockups and static images. With interactive wireframes, you have a rich prototype that functions just like the real thing. They can be rich in color, with all the layout work completed, before a client even puts hands on them. The client can test an interactive wireframe prototype of a website or app to their hearts content, using it just as if they were using the real thing.

Interactive wireframes

Any prototype will have bugs, that’s a given. With interactive wireframes, designers catch and fix those bugs before the product ever goes live. With the old static wireframes, designers had no choice in the matter. They were as much drawings and concepts as they were anything and no one can say whether a drawn button will work the way it should. In the worst cases, buggy websites would go live. Their developers would panic and code again from the start, which was an unnecessary hassle and a waste of time and money.

Interactive wireframes are active and complete. If you’re developing an iPhone app, you can view the prototype from an iPhone and interact with it in its entirety. You can use a text-messaging element to actually send a text message, even though it’s a prototype. You’ll be able to experience the finished product before it’s finished, and know exactly how everything will behave.

Interactive wireframes work well with development teams as well. A single wireframe project is usable and shareable by the entire team. Project leaders can even set security permission levels for various parts, in case aspects of the project need to be secure. It saves money and time. There's no time wasted in phone calls and e-mail exchanges spent syncing project files. There's no time wasted waiting for someone who is out of date. Every aspect of the project is shared online, and everyone is working on it at the same time. Comments can be posted and bugs fixed in real time.

Interactive wireframes are a true WYSIWYG tool. You can design it exactly the way you want it to look and act. It takes the guesswork out of web design. Check out the developer’s free trial offer and experience interactive wireframes yourself.